Advertisement

Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 305–321 | Cite as

Does the type of attribute matter? Examining whether underlying factors explain product attribute preference

  • Dean C. H. Wilkie
  • Lester W. Johnson
  • Wynne W. Chin
Original Article

Abstract

Most research into product attribute preferences suggests that innovation through enhanced attributes is superior to innovation through unique attributes, yet the marketplace success of new products with unique attributes challenges these assessments. To determine whether the type of attribute matters, this study examines how two underlying factors explain product attribute preference. First, a schema congruity theoretical framework proposes that perceived differences and confidence both mediate attribute type effects. Second, the authors test whether product attribute preferences result from the specific forms of enhanced or unique attributes. Consumer evaluations of 13 line extensions demonstrate that perceived differences and confidence strongly mediate the effects of the type of attribute on product preferences. The effects of the specific attribute form on preferences are comparable to those of enhanced and unique attributes. This effect similarly is mediated by perceived difference and confidence. This study thus provides several contributions for schema congruity theory, including a demonstration of two inverted U-shaped relationships involving perceived difference. For managers, uncovering the influence of consumers’ perceptions of differences and confidence can help them market new products that feature either type or various forms of attributes.

Keywords

Product attributes Partial least squares Unique attribute Enhanced attribute 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Allenby, G.M., T.S. Shively, S. Yang, and M.J. Garratt. 2004. A choice model for packaged goods: Dealing with discrete quantities and quantity discounts. Marketing Science 23(1): 95–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrews, R.L., and A.K. Manrai. 1999. MDS maps for product attributes and market response: An application to scanner panel data. Marketing Science 18(4): 584–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baron, R.M., and D.A. Kenny. 1986. The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 51(6): 1173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, C.L., and G.S. Carpenter. 2000. Why is the trivial important? A reasons-based account for the effects of trivial attributes on choice. Journal of Consumer Research 26(4): 372–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brunner, T.A., and M. Wänke. 2006. The reduced and enhanced impact of shared features on individual brand evaluations. Journal of Consumer Psychology 16(2): 101–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campbell, M.C., and R.C. Goodstein. 2001. The moderating effect of perceived risk on consumers’ evaluations of product incongruity: Preference for the norm. Journal of Consumer Research 28(3): 439–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carpenter, G.S., R. Glazer, and K. Nakamoto. 1994. Meaningful brands from meaningless differentiation: The dependence on irrelevant attributes. Journal of Marketing Research 31(3): 339–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chan, K.W., and M. Renee. 2011. Blue ocean strategy. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  9. Chin, W.W. 2010. How to write up and report PLS analyses. In Handbook of partial least squares: Concepts, methods and applications, ed. V.E. Vinzi, W.W. Chin, J. Hensler, and H. Wold. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  10. Dacin, P.A., and D.C. Smith. 1994. The effect of brand portfolio characteristics on consumer evaluations of brand extensions. Journal of Marketing Research 31(2): 229–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Desai, K.K., and S. Ratneshwar. 2003. Consumer perceptions of product variants positioned on atypical attributes. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 31(1): 22–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dhar, R., and S.J. Sherman. 1996. The effect of common and unique features in consumer choice. Journal of Consumer Research 23(3): 193–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fader, P.S., and B.G. Hardie. 1996. Modeling consumer choice among skus. Journal of Marketing Research 33(4): 442–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grime, I., A. Diamantopoulos, and G. Smith. 2002. Consumer evaluations of extensions and their effects on the core brand: Key issues and research propositions. European Journal of Marketing 36(11/12): 1415–1438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hair, J.F., C.M. Ringle, and M. Sarstedt. 2011. PLS-SEM: Indeed a silver bullet. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 19(2): 139–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kardes, F.R., and G. Kalyanaram. 1992. Order-of-entry effects on consumer memory and judgment: An information integration perspective. Journal of Marketing Research 29(3): 343–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Keller, K.L. 1993. Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity. Journal of Marketing 57(1): 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lee, M., J. Lee, and W.A. Kamakura. 1996. Consumer evaluations of line extensions: A conjoint approach. Advances in Consumer Research 23(1): 289–295.Google Scholar
  19. Lees, G., and M. Wright. 2004. The effect of concept formulation on concept test scores. Journal of Product Innovation Management 21(6): 389–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Liang, B., J. Cherian, and W. Fu. 2010. Can followers overcome pioneers? The role of superior alignable differences in consumer evaluation of brand extensions. Journal of Product and Brand Management 19(2): 85–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mandler, G. 1982. The structute of value: Accounting for taste. In Affect and cognition: The 17th annual carnegie symposium. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  22. Maoz, E., and A.M. Tybout. 2002. The moderating role of involvement and differentiation in the evaluation of brand extensions. Journal of Consumer Psychology 12(2): 119–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Meyers-Levy, J., and A.M. Tybout. 1989. Schema congruity as a basis for product evaluation. Journal of Consumer Research 16(1): 39–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Meyers-Levy, J., T.A. Louie, and M.T. Curren. 1994. How does the congruity of brand names affect evaluations of brand name? Journal of Applied Psychology 79(1): 46–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nam, M., J. Wang, and A.Y. Lee. 2012. The difference between differences: How expertise affects diagnosticity of attribute alignability. Journal of Consumer Research 39(4): 736–750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nijssen, E.J. 1999. Success factors of line extensions of fast-moving consumer goods. European Journal of Marketing 33(5/6): 450–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Noseworthy, T.J., K. Finlay, and I. Towhidul. 2010. From a commodity to an experience: The moderating role of thematic positioning on congruity based product judgement. Psychology and Marketing 27(5): 465–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Noseworthy, T.J., F. Di Muro, and K.B. Murray. 2014. The role of arousal in congruity-based product evaluation. Journal of Consumer Research 41(4): 1108–1126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nowlis, S.M., and I. Simonson. 1997. Attribute-task compatibility as a determinant of consumer preference reversals. Journal of Marketing Research 34(2): 205–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Page, A.L., and H.F. Rosenbaum. 1992. Developing an effective concept testing program for consumer durables. Journal of Product Innovation Management 9(4): 267–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Peracchio, L.A., and A.M. Tybout. 1996. The moderating role of prior knowledge in schema-based product evaluation. Journal of Consumer Research 23(3): 177–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pi-Chuan, S. 2010. Differentiating high involved product by trivial attributes for product line extension strategy. European Journal of Marketing 44(11/12): 1557–1575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Preacher, K., and A. Hayes. 2008. Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods 40(3): 879–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Reddy, S.K., S.L. Holak, and S. Bhat. 1994. To extend or not to extend: Success determinants of line extensions. Journal of Marketing Research 31(2): 243–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ringle, C.M., S. Wende, and J.-M. Becker. 2015. Smartpls 3. Boenningstedt: SmartPLS GmbH, http://www.smartpls.com.
  36. Rossiter, J.R. 2002. The C-OAR-SE procedure for scale development in marketing. International Journal of Research in Marketing 19(4): 305–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rossiter, J.R. 2011. Marketing measurement revolution: The C-OAR-SE method and why it must replace psychometrics. European Journal of Marketing 45(11/12): 1561–1588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sanbonmatsu, D.M., F.R. Kardes, and B.D. Gibson. 1991. The role of attribute knowledge and overall evaluations in comparative judgment. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 48(1): 131–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shankar, V., G.S. Carpenter, and L. Krishnamurthi. 1998. Late mover advantage: How innovative late entrants outsell pioneers. Journal of Marketing Research 35(1): 54–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sinha, A., J.J. Inman, Y. Wang, J. Park, G.J. Tellis, R.K. Chandy, D. Macinnis, and P. Thaivanich. 2005. Practice prize reports. Marketing Science 24(3): 351–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stayman, D.M., D.L. Alden, and K.H. Smith. 1992. Some effects of schematic processing on consumer expectations and disconfirmation judgments. Journal of Consumer Research 19(2): 240–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wilkie, D.C., L. Johnson, and L. White. 2015a. Asymmetric preferences for leaders and implications for followers. European Journal of Marketing 49(7/8): 1256–1275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wilkie, D.C., L.W. Johnson, and L. White. 2015b. The line extension dilemma: Greater difference or similarity to existing product? Journal of Brand Management 22(6): 534–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wu, A.D., and B.D. Zumbo. 2008. Understanding and using mediators and moderators. Social Indicators Research 87(3): 367–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zhang, S., and G.J. Fitzsimons. 1999. Choice-process satisfaction: The influence of attribute alignability and option limitation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 77(3): 192–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zhang, S., and A.B. Markman. 1998. Overcoming the early entrant advantage: The role of alignable and nonalignable differences. Journal of Marketing Research 35(4): 413–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zhang, S., and A.B. Markman. 2001. Processing product unique features: Alignability and involvement in preference construction. Journal of Consumer Psychology 11(1): 13–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhao, X., J.G. Lynch, and Q. Chen. 2010. Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and truths about mediation analysis. Journal of Consumer Research 37(2): 197–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhou, K.Z., and K. Nakamoto. 2007. How do enhanced and unique features affect new product preference? The moderating role of product familiarity. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 35(1): 53–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dean C. H. Wilkie
    • 1
  • Lester W. Johnson
    • 2
  • Wynne W. Chin
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Marketing and ManagementUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Swinburne Business SchoolSwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Decision and Information SciencesUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations